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Vital swim program for migrants is back

Sunshine Coast migrants are invited to register now and dive into a popular free swim program designed to boost their confidence and safety skills in and around the water.

The Migrant Learn to Swim and Beach Safe program, run by Sunshine Coast Council and Royal Life Saving Society of Queensland, will run for seven weeks at Goodlife Community Centre, Buderim, and Nambour Aquatic Centre, plus Bulcock Beach from October 23.

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said he was pleased to see the program back for the second time this year.

“Summer is just around the corner so what better time to build on your swimming skills and familiarity in and around the pool and beach with the Migrant Learn to Swim program,” Cr Law said.

“Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle plus forming social connections is a key goal of our Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041.

“It’s great to see such a strong intake of this program especially among women. It would be terrific to see more men express their interest in this round and sign-up today.”

Chinese migrant George Liu, 38, of Mooloolaba, had a fear of swimming before he participated in the program earlier this year.

“I had a really bad memory when I was younger. I nearly drowned,” Mr Liu said.

“I was born in a city and there was no water there so there wasn’t a chance to learn to swim.

“This program was good for me because now I can swim a short distance so it’s a good start.

“It’s also a good program for developing friendships and building confidence.”

Royal Life Saving Society Queensland Executive Director Paul Barry encouraged migrants to have a go and register for the program.

“We want them to become part of the local community and involve themselves in aquatic activity and programs in a safe way. This involves teaching people about their skills and capabilities,” Mr Barry said.

“The program is not just about swimming lessons, it also includes water safety and survival components and includes things such as floating, wearing lifejackets, only swimming between the red and yellow flags, survival techniques and aquatic fitness.

“The program is open to people with very little swimming skills. During the beach components, participants will learn about the ocean including rips, currents, lifeguards, plus safe and unsafe swimming locations.”

Registrations close Wednesday, October 20, 2021

People can register here or visit: tiny.cc/learntoswim  

KEY DATES:

  • Welcome Session – Saturday, October, 23, – 11am-noon, Nambour Aquatic Centre, 31 Petrie Park Rd, Nambour, (mixed sessions) and Goodlife Community Centre, 100 Buderim Pines Drive, Buderim (women’s only and mixed sessions)
  • Learn to Swim Sessions – Lessons start Saturday, October 30, 11am-noon
  • Lessons end Saturday, December 11
  • Beach Safe Sessions at Caloundra City Life Saving Club, 29 The Esplanade, Bulcock Beach – Saturday, November 6, and Saturday, November 13, 2–3pm and 3-4pm

This program is also supported by the Federal Government including under the National Recreation Safety Program and Inland Waterways and Community Drowning Prevention Strategy.

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